Richard Ojeda Becomes First 2020 Democrat to Drop Out of Race

Former West Virginia State Sen. Richard Ojeda on Friday dropped his long-shot bid for the White House.

“I don’t want to see people send money to a campaign that’s probably not going to get off the ground,” the Democrat said in a video provided to The Intercept. In a subsequent statement posted to Facebook, Ojeda lamented how big money still dominates politics and, as such, it was difficult for him to gain traction and attention.

“When I was a child my grade school teachers told us all that anyone in America could grow up and become President,” he wrote. “I now realize that this is not the case. Unless someone has extreme wealth or holds influence and power it just isn’t true. Especially if you dare to step out of line and challenge the powers that be. The big donors won’t take your calls, the media won’t say your name, and the establishment will do everything they can to crush you.”

Ojeda was an ardent supporter of the West Virginia teachers’ strike and recently traveled to Los Angeles where he supported striking teachers there. He announced his presidential campaign in November after losing a House race in West Virginia in which he improved on the prior Democratic performance by 32 points.